The New Yorker’s Beautiful Nelson Mandela Cover

Mandela died Thursday at 95. “[As] I painted Nelson’s portrait, I felt empowered and proud like the man himself,” the artist said.

The illustration covering next week’s issue is “Madiba” by Kadir Nelson, who told The New Yorker it’s “a tribute to the struggle for freedom from all forms of discrimination, and Nelson’s very prominent role as a leader in the anti-apartheid movement.”

Kadir Nelson also illustrated the covers of Drake’s Nothing Was The Same and Michael Jackson’s posthumous Michael, among other works.

Check out more articles on!

Jessica Testa is a national reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Jessica Testa at
Got a confidential tip? Submit it here.